From colourful prayer flags to stunning mountain ranges, Nepal is an impressive place! But behind the beauty there is an entire generation of young people who are feeling let down. At 6.3 million, young people in Nepal make up 26% of the country’s total population. Yet despite their huge potential in the workforce, they are seriously underutilized. Unemployment is rife in Nepal and 40% of young people lack work opportunities. With limited jobs and little direction on how to succeed, is it any surprise that Nepal’s young people are feeling frustrated?!
At Raleigh we believe that entrepreneurship can be the key to solving this problem. Building on our experience working with entrepreneurs in Tanzania and Nicaragua, we believe that self-started businesses and micro-enterprises are crucial to providing employment and tackling poverty in Nepal.
As the country aims to develop economically, these views towards entrepreneurship are starting to take hold. There is a growing recognition that the creativity of young people in Nepal needs to be mobilized so they can lead the future of development through entrepreneurship. This involves challenging the current education system which shapes students into job-seekers rather than job-creators. The Nepali youth have bags of potential and young entrepreneurs are already making waves in their communities.
Don’t believe me? Well then listen to Pushpa’s story.
Pushpa was 20 years old she was first inspired to start a social enterprise. Pushpa was an undergraduate student when she went on a college field trip to a women’s prison in Kalimati, where she decided to make a difference through enterprise.
While visiting the prison, Pushpa was surprised to meet Kanchi, a child of one of the inmates. She learnt that when parents are imprisoned their homeless children stay with them, denying many children of a fulfilling childhood. Incensed by this, Pushpa knew that she had to step forward to make the lives of these children better… and so the Early Childhood Development Centre was born!
The Early Childhood Development Centre provides shelter and education for children whose parents are in jail. The children at the centre receive regular medical check-ups, vaccinations, and are enrolled in a local private school, something
they would have previously been denied. The Early Childhood Development Centre is now in its tenth year and Pushpa continues to grow her enterprise. She works alongside NGO ‘Nepal Change Fusion’ who has supported her with her with funds and business mentoring as she continues to make a positive impact in her community.
Pushpa’s enterprise began with a seed of passion and has grown into something that makes a difference. She employs numerous board members and has helped many children – she is surely an inspiration to other young entrepreneurs in Nepal!
Soon Raleigh volunteers will work alongside young entrepreneurs when we launch in Nepal in 2016! Helping to start micro-enterprises in Ghorka and Makwanpur, volunteers will provide mentorship and guidance to the next generation of business creators to help fight poverty and unemployment in Nepal. It’s time to get down to business!